10 years ago, when I worked in corporate, marketing decided they wanted all of us to post the same thing on social media.

Back then employer advocacy was in its infancy, the idea is you use employees to share content, which enables you to get more reach.

Back then, when we all shared the same post and I'm not sure it's changed, we got complaints from buyers and our network.

Why? Seeing a piece of content is alright, but seeing it many times for lots of people in your network is annoying.  It's known as corporate spam.

We also lost followers, contacts.  The experiment was seen as a failure.

The CMO who ordered this was fired a few months later.

So it was interesting to see somebody's post on social media recently, that they were doing the same.

It was described as a “LinkedIn Takeover”, same method I described above.  History certainly repeats itself. 

What they explained was a typical broadcast to social media.  They were going to take content and ram it down the throats of our network.

It was interesting to see comments like “this is employee advocacy best practice”. Really?

If this is best practice I would hate to see “bad practice”.

When you looked at the “massive engagement” that the person was talking about, it was all from within his own company.

He was talking within an echo chamber. 

It's not a total waste of time, but the idea in marketing surely is to influence new people, not talk to yourselves? 

Changing tack slightly there was a question on this post “how do you motivate employees to share content?”  Employees don't want to share content they know is spam and they know will annoy their friends and contacts.

As a salesperson if you are closing a big deal the last thing you want to do is spam all the people you have just built trust with.

Social media is about being social, it's about conversations.

I've just completed a course provided by LinkedIn and the number one things they said, was that Linkedin is about conversations.  They didn't sale Linkedin is all about spamming your network.

Pushing out content / corporate spam through your employees, is not “the latest thing” it was bad practice 10 years ago and still is.

Employee advocacy is about empowering your employees to use social media to create conversations, content is one of the ways they can do this.

If you want to know how you can create conversations and pipeline then talk to us.

If you want to keep spamming your network then there are other people who will be more than happy to take your money, but it won't be us. 

Let's look at some context about sales today

Sales has a problem.

Nobody wants to talk to your sales people.  Whenever we see a salesperson we think “I don't believe a word you say, I certainly don't trust you and all you are going to do is make me a line in your CRM and call me up every month and ask me to buy”

There is an old joke 

Question: How can you tell a salesperson is lying?

Answer: Their lips are moving.

In the past the only way that you could get hold of prospects and customers was to interrupt them, either with a cold call or with a spam email.  Neither of which builds any trust or creates a relationship. 

Social selling, enables us to build a digital bridge of trust with the prospect or customer, which creates a relationship.  There is no need for spam or any sales tech.  How?

Linkedin is the world's biggest network site.

So let's take a step back for a moment. How about if I could pick you up tomorrow and I drive you to a place which is full of your prospects?  All you have to do is grab a coffee or a tea and go up and talk to them.  You can stay as long as you like.

Now, you wouldn't walk up to these prospects of yours and pitch to them.  You would have a conversation.  Maybe ask then how far they drove to get there? Had they been caught up in the traffic?  You would have a conversation.  You wouldn't pitch to them, in fact they will probably ask you at some point, “what do you do?" but more on that in a bit. 

Let's look at the data, cold calling vs our social selling benchmark

Here at DLA Ignite, we are always wanting to push forward the boundaries of sales, so we decided to put cold calling head to head with the DLA Ignite methodology for social selling and create a benchmark on 1st January 2023 (and business case) for our version of social selling.

So we took a team of "cold callers" cross trained them in our methodology for social selling and here are the results.

It's worth shouting out the team, Alex, Jordan and Jensen and they work for a company called Supero.

Don't believe me? Please check the team out on social and ask them about the results!

The results with cold calling

When the team were cold calling, that is, before we trained them on social selling.  I'm not sure what results you get with cold calling but they did whatever they could in terms of warming up the calls with emails or webinars, etc.  And the results, they got about 2 calls a week.  

As with any cold call, your job is to take the call to a next action, which might be a demo, discovery call and they averaged 0.3 of these calls.

Anyway, you will have your own figures for cold calling in your business and you will know what they are. 

The results for social selling

What is social selling?

The DLA Ignite definition of social selling is

"Using your presence and behaviour on social media, to build influence make connections, grow relationships and trust.  Which leads to conversation and commercial interaction".

(Please note these figures are for the DLA Ignite methodology, we cannot speak for other suppliers, please check with them, before signing any contracts.)

I need to say, before I get any comments. 

There is no spam and no automation in the DLA Ignite social selling methodology!

The DLA Ignite social selling methodology does not use connect and pitch!

The DLA Ignite social selling methodology does NOT use inmails, which are spam. 

In fact the program is now back and certified by the Institute of sales professionals (ISP), the only such methodology backed by a sales professional body.


Let's get onto those results for DLA Ignite methodology of social selling

The team are getting a 9% response (on average) to social selling cold outreach, so for every 100 people they ask for a call, 9 say "yes"

This figure is an average, so we think somebody with intermediate skills or an expert should be getting a higher figure should be getting a larger response.  In fact, our benchmark for an expert is 13%, but I want to keep figures realistic and conservative. 

As we mentioned above, with every "call" based on cold outreach, there has to be some sort of next action.  For your own company, you will know what your next action is, it will be a demo, a discovery call or something. 

We have found that with DLA Ignite social selling methodology 9% of the people (on average) that agreed to a call, 33.6% are converting to a next action.  


This is exponential growth when compared to cold calling. 

Each salesperson is averaging 10 calls / meetings per week, the good ones are getting 25 meetings a week.

Just think if you scaled that across your sales organization! 

(The most successful SDR complains he has got too many meetings, which think is a great problem to have!)

Just think about that being rolled out across your sales team(s).  

It's time to work smarter not harder. 


Let's look at this with a business case

Let's take a sales team of 10.

We know that the average person can grow their network by 3,000 people a year.  Let's assume of these 50% are going to buy, this gives you a network growth of 1,500 per person per year.

If you have 10 salespeople that gives you a total addressable market (TAM) of 15,000 new people to have conversations with.

With ourInstitute of sales professionals (ISP) backed, DLA Ignite social selling methodology, (note: we cannot vouch for anybody else) based on our measured benchmark, you should be able to get, on average, meetings with 9% of this TAM of 15,000.  This means your sales team can have 1350 new conversations every year. 

(As we know, conversations create sales.)

As we discussed above, with any cold outreach the objective is to get a next action and using our social selling methodology and using our measured benchmark we can get 33.6% of 9% of our TAM to a next action, which is 454.

Let assume you win 1 in 3, that's 151 new sales a year using social selling, average order value (AOV) $100,000, that's 

$15,120,000 = $15 million

That's an additional $15 million that you are missing by cold calling rather than social selling.

or $1,26 million you miss every month you delay moving from cold calling to social selling.

Of course, if you have more than 10 sales people, you can scale the figures up. 

Imagine you are at a conversation and. the day before the event, there is a drinks in the evening, you have a call and so you are late by 30 minutes. As you enter the bar, you see all of the conference delegates and you realise they are all your ICP (ideal customer profile).  You also see that each ICP is talking with, and laughing with a salesperson.  Now is that salesperson they are laughing with, your salesperson or is it the competitions? 

That is going on out on social media, day in and day out and if your ICPs are laughing and talking with your sales people, will be if you have trained and coached your salespeople in a sales methodology. 



Want to know more about social selling, check out my new book

"social selling techniques to influence buyers and changemakers - 2nd edition".

In this brand new edition, I have updated all the text, I have also got 15 practitioners, so people who are doing this already to explain how they are get (practical) business benefit. From the CEO that has been running a digital business for over 18 months to sales leaders who use social selling every day.  

Articles on how these business have and are implementing digital, from Mercer, Telstra Purple, Ring Central, Cyberhawk, Namos, Ericsson, DLA Ignite and more.

What does Mark Schaefer, Marketing guru think of the book "social selling - techniques to influence buyers and changemakers - 2nd edition"? watch the video here

It's available on Amazon worldwide.  Link to Amazon.com here and Amazon.co.uk here